Understanding Business Continuity: Why It Matters and Real-World Lessons

Understanding Business Continuity: Why It Matters and Real-World Lessons

Understanding Business Continuity: Why It Matters and Real-World Lessons
28th May 2024

Businesses with a robust business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plan are more likely to survive and thrive after a major disruption. In fact, as of 2019, 20% of businesses that faced a significant disaster went out of business within a year.

Business continuity is a crucial aspect of modern organisational management that ensures companies can remain operational after adverse events. This includes a variety of practices that help an organisation to continue functioning and minimise downtime during disruptions. Given the current landscape, marked by natural disasters, pandemics, and cyberattacks, the need for robust business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plans has never been more critical. This article delves into what business continuity entails, its importance, and real-world examples that illustrate its necessity.

 

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|What is Business Continuity?

Business continuity refers to the strategies and processes an organisation implements to ensure that essential functions can continue during and after a disaster. This goes beyond mere disaster recovery (DR), which is more reactive and focuses on the immediate steps needed to resume operations. Business continuity is a comprehensive approach that involves proactive planning to mitigate the impacts of disruptions and maintain critical operations.

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|Key Component of Business Continuity

A robust business continuity plan includes Business Impact Analysis to identify critical functions and needed resources; Risk Assessment to evaluate threats and their likelihood; Recovery Strategies to restore functions quickly; Plan Development for documenting continuity and recovery procedures; regular Testing and Exercises to ensure plan effectiveness; and Communication Plans to inform stakeholders during and after a disruption.

 

A robust business continuity strategy can be separated into six key areas

|Why Business Continuity Matters?

Business continuity is crucial because it keeps essential operations running smoothly during and after disruptions, minimising revenue loss and protecting the company’s reputation. It also prioritises employee safety with clear protocols and alternative work setups, ensuring everyone knows what to do in emergencies. Maintaining service reliability builds customer trust and helps meet regulatory requirements, avoiding legal issues and fines. 

 

80% of companies that do not recover from a disaster within one month are likely to go out of business.

 

In essence, business continuity planning is about being prepared for the unexpected, like having an umbrella on a sunny day—you might not need it now, but when the storm clouds gather, you’ll be glad you have it. By keeping the business running, protecting employees, and staying compliant with regulations, companies can confidently navigate any challenges that come their way. 

 

|SilverDoor's Approach to Business Continuity 

At SilverDoor, we understand the importance of business continuity. Our recent achievement of the ISO 22301 accreditation demonstrates our commitment to maintaining operational resilience and delivering uninterrupted service to our clients. In 2021, an estimated 70% of UK businesses were hit by a cyber breach or attack in the past 12 months, underscoring the pervasive threat of cyberattacks and the need for robust business continuity plans. 

 

Over 30% of businesses take more than a day to recover after a cyber-attack.

 

|NHS Catering Supplier Cyber Attack (2022)

A cyber-attack on a major catering supplier for the NHS disrupted meal services across multiple facilities: 

  • The disruption required the activation of business continuity plans to ensure that patients continued to receive meals. 
  • Trusts had to stockpile food and use alternative suppliers. 
  • This incident highlighted the importance of having contingency plans for critical supply chains.

 

|What is ISO 22301? 

ISO 22301 is a standard of excellence for business continuity management systems (BCMS). It provides a framework for planning, establishing, implementing, operating, monitoring, reviewing, maintaining, and continually improving a documented management system to protect against disruptive incidents. 

For SilverDoor, achieving ISO 22301 accreditation means we have the tools to handle disruptions effectively. It reassures our clients that we’ve got their back with robust systems and services in place. This includes not only the technological aspects but also the human elements, ensuring that there are always fallback procedures and lines of communication available. This means clients will always receive the best possible service. Plus, the accreditation process keeps us on our toes, ensuring regular reviews and updates so our plans are always up to date and ready to tackle any challenge. 

 

|How We Excel at Business Continuity:

  • Proactive Planning: We conduct regular business impact analyses and risk assessments to identify potential threats and prepare accordingly. 
  • Comprehensive Strategies: Our business continuity plans cover all critical aspects, including IT systems, employee safety, and supply chain management. 
  • Regular Testing: We regularly test our continuity plans through simulations and exercises to ensure their effectiveness. 
  • Clear Communication: We maintain open lines of communication with all stakeholders to ensure everyone is informed during disruptions.

 

Business continuity is not just about keeping the lights on during a crisis. It's about ensuring that we can continue to serve our clients without interruption, no matter what happens. Our recent ISO 22301 accreditation is a testament to the strong systems and processes we have put in place to achieve this goal. It underscores our commitment to operational resilience and reassures our clients that they can trust us to be there for them, even in the most challenging times. Whether it's a flood, technical fault, cyber-attack, or any number of world events, our comprehensive plan ensures that our clients receive the best possible service available. No matter what, there's always a system in place ensuring trustworthiness.’  

- SilverDoor Chief Information and Technology Officer, Hanish Vithal 

 

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|Get Involved! 

What does business continuity mean to you? Are you prepared to handle disruptions, or do you have some work to do? Take our LinkedIn poll and share your thoughts. Join the conversation and connect with other professionals discussing the importance of business continuity and how to improve preparedness. 

Join the poll and share your perspective now!

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|Proactive Planning for Business Resilience

Business continuity is not just a technical necessity but a strategic imperative that ensures organisational resilience in the face of disruptions. The real-world examples of failures illustrate the high stakes involved, while the success stories highlight the benefits of proactive planning.  

At SilverDoor, our commitment to business continuity, underscored by our ISO 22301 accreditation, sets us apart in the industry. So, what does business continuity mean for your company, and how can you ensure you are protected? consider the importance of business continuity in your own operations and to engage with us to learn more about our approach and how we can support your business needs.


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